Brain-computer interface for individuals after spinal cord injury

David B. Salisbury, Thomas D. Parsons, Kimberley R. Monden, Zina Trost, Simon J. Driver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose/Objective: To investigate the feasibility of brain- computer interface (BCI) with patients on an inpatient spinal cord injury (SCI) unit. Research Method/Design: This study included 25 participants aged 18-64 who sustained traumatic or nontraumatic SCI and did not have severe cognitive or psychiatric impairment. Participants completed a variety of screening measures related to cognition, psychological disposition, pain, and technology experience/interest. The Emotiv electroencephalography system was used in conjunction with a cube rotation and manipulation game presented on a laptop computer. Results: The majority of participants successfully completed the BCI game and reported enjoyment of the experience. Outside of a mild trend of lower performance among participants with a past or present head injury, there were no demographic variables, injury variables or screening measures significantly associated with BCI performance. Conclusions/Implications: The BCI paradigm demonstrated feasibility and safety across participant age range, educational and vocational background, and level of injury. Despite the rapid integration of technology into rehabilitation health care settings, there are few evidence-based studies regarding the feasibility of technology with specific inpatient populations. Clinical implications and challenges of using this technology in a rehabilitation setting are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-441
Number of pages7
JournalRehabilitation Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Disability
  • Inpatient rehabilitation
  • Technology
  • Virtual reality


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